peter diamond - fight arranger choreographer actor and director - 1929-2004 contact peter-spotting on stage tv credits film credits about home

    Peter Diamond in his iconic role as  a Tusken Raider in "Star Wars: A New Hope" (Lucasfilm Ltd)

    
1000, and counting


      During his fifty year career Peter Diamond accrued more than
      1,000 professional film, television and theatrical credits for his
      work as a stunt arranger, stunt performer, swordmaster, actor
      and director...

      Many people will be familiar with his STAR WARS connections. Peter choreographed the
      action in the original trilogy of films and appeared on screen in several different guises, 
      most notably as the iconic, stick-wielding Tusken Raider. He was stunt co-ordinator on
      RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK as well as PRINCESS BRIDE, WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT
      and the first HIGHLANDER film, in which he also appeared as the Immortal called 'Fasil'.

      But those high-profile productions were just the tip of the iceberg. He actuallly commenced
      his stunt career working on such Golden Age classics as IVANHOE, KNIGHTS OF THE
      ROUND TABLE and THE DARK AVENGER, acquiring tips and tutelage from Errol Flynn
      and Yakima Canutt.
He went on to work on a sizable number of renowned HAMMER, AMICUS
      and TIGON productions, a
nd the role call of star names he went on to choreograph and
      double for just kept on growing.

      Peter's television series also spanned the decades alongside his film work, from the heyday
      of live television productions into the new millennium. The range of series and shows he 
      was employed upon crosses all genres and includes ERROL FLYNN THEATRE, DOCTOR
      WHO, THE SAINT, SIR FRANCIS DRAKE, Z-CARS, SOFTLY SOFTLY, THE PRISONER,
      THE AVENGERS, SHERLOCK HOLMES, UFO, POLDARK, DICK TURPIN, MINDER, and
      JEEVES AND WOOSTER - the list goes on and on, and his roles expanded everywhichway.
      In the 'nineties, he even  took on directing duties on episodes of New World's ZORRO
      series, and HIGHLANDER: THE SERIES.

      And let's not forget Peter's stage work for the Old Vic, Sadler's Wells and The Royal Opera. 
      In and around all that film and television work he found time to choreograph fights for
      productions of HAMLET, MACBETH, OTELLO, and A
NDREA CHENIER. And at the other
      end of the cultural scale there were adverts for SOLVITE and TANGO, and in between,
      his one man stage show and appearances at CELEBRATION and so many more
      conventions and events -
far too much to fit into this preamble!

      Sadly, Peter died in March 2004 whilst returning from the set of Yorkshire TV's HEARTBEAT
      and he took with him a thousand stories, memories of the great and the good and the bad
      from so many celebrated productions. Pinning him down when he was still with us was almost
      impossible because, quite simply, he never stopped working. So we're piecing his life back
      together in retrospect. What he did,  when he did it, and at least some of what he had to
      say about it, will be identified on this site, in time!


    ______________________________________________________________________________





    "
Inconceivable!"

       From the streets of South Shields
       to the galactic deserts of Tatooine,
       Peter Diamond travelled far in his
       fifty-year career. And needless
       to say, the route was
       action-packed...
Peter diamond and two Andre Giants? - Inconceivable!


      Oh, that's a crass introduction. It's not easy trying to write an article about my father. I'm just
      too close to his life
. If I eulogize too much I'll come off as doting, and if I downplay everything,
      you might think me blasť, and I'd diminish his "inconceivable" achievements. Yes, I think
      I'll appropriate that word from the mouth of Vizzini, because there really is no other
      word to adequately describe my father's film and television endeavours. For crying out loud,
      just look at that list of credits, all those movies, series and specials. In an industry that's
      always been stuffed full of unemployed actors and part-time technicians, my father never
      stopped working, from day one till the day he died. He was forever juggling jobs,  jumping
      here, there, and everywhere, all over the world.

      If you want to psychoanalyze these things, I reckon there is something to be made of his
      past. You see, he came from nothing. And by that I refer to the point in his childhood where
      he recalled his family collecting their last meagre possessions on to a cart to drag through
      the streets of Sunderland. It's all very Hovis-like, certainly, but you must bear in mind
      this was a terrible reality for too many less-fortunate families in inter-war  Britain.
      Given that Peter was then forced to start work at such a young age, I've no doubt he carried
      this with him throughout his career. He was always a breadwinner, and he had to keep working,
      lest that work dried up.

       Peter Diamond's promotional press and Stunts, Inc. patch

      And what work he did. You don't need me to list the titles here. If you check those film and
      television pages you'll see he was right there at the birth of the stunt industry in the UK,
      dead centre of the pool of stunt men and arrangers learning the do's and dont's of their
      craft together. His army training had given him sword skills and discipline. RADA gave him
      insight into the actors craft, and enabled him to broaden his role when necessary. There were
      all those BBC fights, rehearsed on a weekday, filmed live at the weekend. There were those
      back-to-back Hammer films, and quick work for Amicus and Tigon productions. He learned
      to think on his feet and to provide thrills and spills for a sixpence. A quick cut here, a
      different angle there, and producers could save pounds on their budget, get the scene
      in the can and be away.

      But it wasn't all bish, bash, bosh. When time and budget allowed, when the production required,
      he delivered some classic, swashbuckling moments. Can I use the term "old school" here?
      My father acquired his swash and buckle from Errol Flynn and Yakima Canutt. He loved staging
      sprawling duels and derring-do, where the bad guys could be dispatched with a twinkle in the eye.
      At this he really was one of the best, and as things have turned out, he was also one of the last.
      Recently, a new wave of swordplay has swept in from the East. It's inveigled its way into
      Hollywood, at the expense of traditional fare. Our heroes are now technical acrobats, spinning
      and flipping across our screens. The old cut and thrust is no more.

      It's unfortunate that my father died just as the Internet was coming to the fore. Film and
      television debate now galvanizes forums around the world and he was just beginning to discover
      this, and to interact with these enthusiasts. My father came from an era in which the film and
      television foot soldiers were rarely credited. Stunt work, in particular, was all smoke and mirrors.
      Nowadays it's front and center, celebrated as an intergral part of the moviemaking magic.
      Which brings us on to this web site. It's here
to identify and preserve my father's name
      online for those same enthusiasts and for film scholars, for reference, firstly because
      there's nowhere else displaying this level of information, and secondly because myself
      and my siblings are the only ones who can access it. Heck, we have to do this, don't we?
      The alternative is surely inconceivable...
     
      Frazer Diamond - Jan 2012


all images copyright their respective owners - f2012